Whenever prospective, hopeful or even the wistful members of the workforce are asked what aspects of retirement they’re looking forward to the most, hobbies consistently rank high on that list. But saying this and actually doing it are two entirely separate things. After devoting the better part of your life to punching the time card at the daily grind, some new retirees just don’t know what to do with themselves now that they have an abundance of what was once a treasured commodity — time. And even if you do have a hobby, you might discover that it’s just not enough to keep you busy or happy during your golden years.
Compiled from a number of different studies and articles, I’ve developed the following list of ten hobbies or activities that may appeal to you as pleasant ways to wile-away your retirement years. Some of these hobbies are meant for relaxation, others to challenge the mind or the body, some are meant to make a difference in the lives of others, and some are simply to create amazing new memories and experiences.
Surely there are many places on this vast earth that have long appealed to you. But with short vacation times and workplace stress, many Americans don’t have the time or money to travel during their working years. Retirement is your chance to get out and explore! Based on your budget, a fun way to begin your adventures is to mark destinations of interest on a map of the U.S. or the world with pins. You can either plan a grand adventure and follow your pins in a logical order, or visit locales at your own pace, and even make a game out of choosing your next destination — think of it as a kind of reverse pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
If you find yourself missing work, consider teaching the next generation your knowledge and skills. Imparting this valuable information often brings immense satisfaction, as you are making a personal investment in the future. Everybody wants to hear the tips and tricks of the trade from the experts who’ve been there, and that’s you.
Did you start a stamp collection as a teenager that never really got much further after “real life” set in, or have you always longed to become a numismatist? Now is the time to revisit those old passions and rekindle your efforts. Whether it’s stamps, coins, baseball cards, rare books or maps, or anything else that tickles your fancy, having the time to focus on and add to these collections can bring a new depth to retirement.
Why not devote your time to a great cause? You’d be surprised how many volunteers are needed for any number of charities of associations, so finding a cause to suit your personality and desires shouldn’t be a problem. For help finding just the right volunteer opportunity in your area, I suggest visiting www.VolunteerMatch.org. This site allows you to choose from a number of topics that interest you, and then performs a search to provide you with an impressive list of volunteer opportunities in your area. Pick one and offer it the one thing more valuable than money — your time.
5. Puzzles and Games
Without the day-to-day stimulation of the workplace, many retirees feel as though they’re losing their once razor-sharp acumen. That’s most likely not the case; rather, your brain just needs more stimulation to stay healthy and sharp. Everything from Scrabble to Soduku to good-old-fashioned Memory can help to engage your mind in positive and fun ways. And, of course, what’s more fun than a game night with friends? Break out the Trivial Pursuit, chessboard, Boggle, or Monopoly and inject a bit of competition to really enthuse your guests — and get them thinking.
In Part II of this article, we’ll explore even more hobbies that could grab your interest and make the retirement phase of your life exciting in new ways you may never have imagined.
Catalogs.com: Top 10 Hobbies for Retirees, http://www.catalogs.com/info/bestof/top-10-hobbies-for-retirees
Investopedia: 8 Affordable Retirement Hobbies, http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0312/8-affordable-retirement-hobbies.aspx
LovetoKnow Senior Citizens:Ten Hobbies for Retirees, http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Ten_Hobbies_for_Retirees
Marketwatch: Top 10 most desired retirement activities, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/top-10-most-desired-retirement-activities
Investopedia: Retirement Hobbies that Make Money, http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0712/retirement-hobbies-that-make-money.aspx
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